Shattering Stigmas – Mental Illness Book Recommendations

Happy Saturday everyone! I know this is not my usual posting day, but my schedule will be a little all over the place this October. In case you missed it, I have the incredible honor of being one of the hosts for the wonderful Shattering Stigmas, an event that will take place from October 6th to October 20th here on Drizzle & Hurricane Books.

Three years ago, Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight launched the first Shattering Stigmas, a blogging event dedicated to posts about mental illness to address and challenge the stigmas against it. Through book reviews, discussion posts and lists, Shattering Stigmas has continued conversations around mental illness for the past three years.

This year, for the Shattering Stigmas 4.0, you will be able to find incredible guest posts on blogs from all four hosts of the event: Taylor, Ben, Madalyn, Kitty and Marie.

What does this mean? Well, it basically means that I’m going away. Now, before you panic (I hope you’re a bit sad? Is that selfish to think so? Oops. I just. I am panicking. Okay. Moving on), I’m not going away for good. I’m going to be lending my blog, my platform and my space to other bloggers’ voices for the length of the event. From October 6th, to October 20th, there will be blog posts from incredible bloggers sharing their stories and recommendations. I am so in love with everything they do and it’s an honor and I hope you’ll give them all a warm welcome, sweet comments, boosts and that overall you’ll enjoy them all.

But that’s not all! You are also able to, during the length of the event, ENTER TO WIN BOOKS!

  • TWO WINNERS will win each A Mental Health book of their choice.
  • This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL (as long as book depository ships to you).
  • This giveaway will run until the end of the Shattering Stigmas event, on October 20th.


Now that all these presentations are done… What do you say we get started right away?!

To start off this event, I am thrilled to welcome May, an incredible blogger I love, sharing her mental illness book recommendations! Please give her a warm welcome and, as always, feel free to comment your thoughts on her wonderful post below!

Mental illness is a fact of life for most of us. Recently there’s been an influx of dialogue on mental illness and that warms my heart so much. Its so amazing to see how our society is opening up to discussing and learning about what mental illness is and how it physically impacts some.

When i was compiling this list of books featuring mental illness, i was kind of overwhelmed with how many subdivisions there are. It really is so vast (and fluid. you’d be so surprised to see how many mental illnesses overlap and impact each other. it’s really fascinating and eye-opening) and I tried my best to understand and portray them correctly for what they are.

Please let me know if i made any mistakes or incorrectly labelled something, i’m still learning myself 🙈🙈







The Memory of Light: this is the story of a girl who tries to commit suicide and fails. It’s the story of her healing and the profound realizations and growth she must come to terms with. One of the most compelling books i’ve read on the topic.

All the Bright Places: is a YA book that takes on a more quirky and lighthearted tone on the topic of suicide. It definitely is a thought provoking book and even with the humour, it still leaves you in pain when you turn the last page.

My Heart and Other Black Holes: takes on a much more dark turn of humour. Definitely not everyone’s cup of tea but this book leaves the reader with honest and hopeful sentiment.

Thanks for the Trouble: this book is really weird. It’s funny and real and charming and so easy to read and yet it deals with a heavy topic. I thought the author pulled it all off really well.

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock: is VERY dark with its humour. The main character is very real and his loneliness is felt so deeply from the pages. And its emotional. Guys, its SO EMOTIONAL. 

-General Depression




Saving Francesca: this book goes into how the grief and depression of one person can impact so many. It deals with family and loss and friendship and forgiveness and its one of my favourites.

Mosquitoland: is about a girl looking for answers. She’s very snarky and sarcastic and I love her tone throughout the book. This book is like a dream that you don’t want to end.

Radio Silence: is a heavy book on self discovery and living for yourself rather than others. I found the depression representation to be very real and is an honest book that is a winner for most.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner: For a book dealing with depression, its really funny. The main character is quirky and edgy in a way that we all want to be, so much sass from her, and the storyline is really fun. Fantastic book.


-Social Anxiety

Eliza and Her Monsters: THIS BOOK IS SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOD. It has such a refreshing representation of anxiety, one that i could really connect with along with such a beautiful representation of online friendships and annoying, precious little brothers.

Fangirl: a favourite for most, Fangirl, is about a girl with anxiety going to college and how terrifying the world seems (relatable). I loved her struggles and seeing how she grew and opened up, such a fantastic read.

-Selective Mutism




A Quiet Kind of Thunder: This book features a character that is selectively mute (due to anxiety) and another character that is deaf and its just as adorable as everyone says it is.

Thanks for the Trouble (yes again): i didn’t mention above but the main character is selectively mute.

Eliza and Her Monsters: ALSO THE LOVE INTEREST IS SELECTIVELY MUTE and hes such a soft and sweet boy.


Where’d You Go Bernadette: is hilarious is an over-the-top way. While the mother of the main character suffers from agoraphobia, the book is witty and ridiculous and extravagant. But its charming in the way that most books on self-acceptance are.

Finding Audrey: This books is SO. CUTE. Gosh, audrey is a sweetie and her fears are so well explored. It’s a hilarious book on crazy dysfunctional families and extreme social anxiety and adorable gamer boys.

Psychotic Disorder





Made You Up: I knew this was going to be a favourite from the moment I picked it up. It’s about a girl with schizophrenia and its addicting and heartwarming and overall such a refreshing read.

Words on Bathroom Walls: I read this book in a single day because it was so compelling and unique and really offered an insight into the life of a boy with schizophrenia. Very impressed with this one.

Eating Disorder





Paperweight: I have not read this one but from the reviews I’ve read, the expression of anorexia and her recovery was well written.

What I Lost: is the struggle of girl after she is admitted into a ward for eating disorders. It’s a story on recovery and self acceptance and is REALLY informative.

Wintergirls: once again, a book I havent read yet but very high up on my TBR. It’s said to be emotional and authentic.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Turtles All the Way Down: John Green is a really popular author when it comes to mental health books and in his newest book, he tackles the subject of OCD. It is mystical how well he’s able to create these characters, ones that feel so genuine and how they express their hardships and personal struggles.

Every Last Word: our main character, Sam, suffers from OCD and this book is here to bring light to what goes on in her head. Her deep, dark thoughts that consume her. It’s not a perfect book but it definitely has its charming aspects.


Female of the Species: Definitely would warn you how dark and depressing this book can get. It’s gory and doesn’t spare the reader any ignorance but the lesson it left behind stayed with me for months.

The Art of Feeling: This book is funny. Funny in a way you wouldn’t think a book dealing with such heavy topics could be. But it’s able to pull it off and gosh you guys its such a tale on growth and acceptance and coming to terms after a really traumatic event.

Highly recommended.

-Sexual Abuse (trauma)




Perks of Being a Wallflower: I dont think I even need to convince you to read this one. Its a favourite for most and deserves all the credit for it.

All the Rage: This book is gripping, dark, and powerful. Courtney Summers knows how to inflict emotions on her readers and pushes it to the limit with this book. Such a hard book to read but so so so important.

Wrecked: I just finished this one recently and I found it physically hard to put down. It follows the story of girl raped in college and gosh it really shines a light on how people are so easy to pour blame onto the victim.

Some Boys: This book will rip you in half. This book was SO EMOTIONAL for me bc the author was able to portray the mc’s emotions so well. You feel her grief and anguish and despair and will shake you to your core.





You Against Me: is a courageous book that explores loyalty, selflessness, and family. Not much else I can say without spoiling but it’s complex and truly thought provoking.

Sadie: the love a sister has for her little sister and how deeply she feels her pain. This book is hard-hitting as the older sister, Sadie, goes to seek justice.

Boy Toy: This delves into a topic most of us are uncomfortable with, a teacher manipulating a minor into a relationship. It was physically nauseating to read some scenes and chapters but it really goes deep into how badly this boy’s life was impacted.

Charm & Strange: is a very lyrical book and builds a story for the reader, chapter by chapter. It’s not until the very end that the reader pieces together all the symbols and stories to uncover a heartbreaking realization, one that sat with me for a while.

I hope you guys benefited from this list. Please let me know if you have some fantastic mental health recommendations. Which ones from here are your favourite?

lots of love,


Find May on GoodreadsWordPressTwitterTumblr.

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

55 thoughts on “Shattering Stigmas – Mental Illness Book Recommendations

  1. AHHH I love this recommendation post, and May!! She genuinely is the queen of contemporaries, and has the best recommendations – I’m still making my way through her list of recs for me. My favorites from this post are All the Rage, Saving Francesca, You Against Me, Sadie, and The Female of the Species. There are also so many that are on my TBR, and which I’m looking forward to reading. 🙂

    This is such a wonderful post! I can’t wait for all the other ones that are to follow. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh this is such a fabulous recommendation list! 😍There are a lot here I totally adored too although a few I was very questioning of their rep, but I think it’s good that like one book can meet two different readers’ needs so differently! And there isn’t ONE version of depression or anxiety or ptsd. I’m so glad readers have these kind of books to encourage them. 😭💛And show us we’re not alone! I have SUCH a soft spot for Fangirl, Charm & Strange, Perks, Turtles All The Way Down, and the Art Of Feeling (that one is SO SO FUNNY).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m so excited for this event to be starting now! I loved this post so much, it’s full of a lot of great recommendations that I will be working my way through now 💕 I’m especially happy to see Radio Silence on the list, as I’ve been planning on reading it soon, so now I’m even more excited to start the book 🙂 One of my favorite books about mental illness is Under Rose-Tainted Skies, which deals with depression, self-harm, agoraphobia and OCD – it’s so beautifully written and the main character really grew on me!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mental Illness runs in my family and I’ll admit that a book has to sneak up on me for me to read a novel with Schizophrenia or Depression. It has affected my family in every way to find a way to help my brother deal with his disease. I do believe that the more the general public knows the less stigma is attached, which is a great thing. Good for you for tackling this issue and bringing awareness by showing us what books we can read that deals with a certain issue. I need to stop chickening out… and start reading some of them. Thanks Marie!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Before anything else, let me appreciate the entire idea of this segment. Mental illnesses are so common yet so highly ignored, it’s nothing but sad. So segments like these by bloggers are such a delight because it makes me feel good about our bookish community being this awesome community in the world. Anyway, moving on to the post. I absolutely LOVED this list of recommended books! More often than not, I’ve come across mental illness-related book recommendations and the majority of those lists would be comprised of dark, difficult books. And I keep searching for humor-induced seriousness in books so this list makes my day! I’m definitely going to add Eliza and her Monsters, Fangirl (mainly for I myself suffer from anxiety), Nice Try, Jane Sinner, All The Bright Places, and Thanks for the Trouble. Basically, this post was amazing and I can’t wait to devour the next guest posts in line ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you’re so cute ohmigosh. girl, I RELATE, i love reading books that have a comedic edge while also exploring really important topics like mental health. I love love love all those books so much and i hope you love them and laugh just as much as i did ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Wonderful wonderful suggestions here. I’m so happy to be reading a piece on Shattering Stigmas at last ❤️

    While I think it’s very important to give voice to all these mental illnesses I get sooo depressed when I read books or watch movies about them that I just can’t 😭 If they have a happy ending, I might be able to deal with it though. Like, I really enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower (the movie) But I’m not sure I could take the book as it obviously goes much deeper into the character’s issues.

    Anyway, as someone who suffers from anxiety and knows a lot of people who have some other type of mental illness I’m very glad to see it on the spotlight.

    Great post girls!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ahhhhhhhh!!! I’m tearing up here! I’m so honoured to be chosen as the one to kick off this event. 💖💖 Thank you so much Marie for hosting this and giving us all a platform. I’m so so so so looking forward to reading everyone’s posts, this is so amazing

    💖💖 lots of love 💖💖

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is MY honor to feature you, really, thank you so much for your participation and for sharing your incredible recommendations. My TBR is a bit overwhelmed, but I have NO regrets 😀 Thank you!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a good idea! Mental health awareness is really important. Although it’s a tricky topic because I likely wouldn’t read many of these books because of the triggers :/

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve been waiting for a post like this to come about! I’ve been trying to find some more books that deal with the topic of MI so this is a perfect blog post and has come at the right time. I’m so excited to finally be able to put these on my TBR. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow thanks for all these recs!! I haven’t read a ton of contemporary myself but a few of my favorites do include some of the reps mentioned, namely: my all time favorite, In 27 Days (suicide), Remember to Forget (selective mutism + depression) and one that I recently read and loved was Starfish (social anxiety).

    Anyway! I will certainly be reading some of these in the future!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow! This is a wonderfully extensive list. I’ve definitely been on the look out for more mental illness book recs and this post helps. Thank you much for taking the time write this post and tackle such a sensitive subject. ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I love the whole concept of Shattering Stigmas and I’m looking forward to the next couple of posts. SAVING FRANCESCA is one of my favorite books of all time and means so much to me because of the depression representation. That’s why I’m stoked that it was mentioned here! More people should read it (Melina Marchetta in general). And I definitely have to read Turtles All The Way Down as soon as possible. Great post! x

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Oh this was a brilliant post to kick off the Shattering Stigmas event! 🙂 There are some incredible recommendations as well and I will probably be adding plenty of these to my TBR list. Fangirl and Eliza and Her Monsters are two of my top books for dealing with social anxiety, I really connected with the characters because of my own experience with mental illness. Also I’ve been hearing so many amazing things about Sadie, as well as books by Alice Oseman and Sara Barnard in general, so I should probably get around to them soon. 🙂
    Again great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love so many of these books – Perks, Fangirl, Wintergirls, etc. I also need to read many of these too. I love books that deal with mental illness as it’s a very important topic that touches a lot of people. Also – I really liked Words on Bathroom Walls too, and I’m pretty sure it’s being turned into a movie!


    Liked by 2 people

  15. These are some great recommendations! I haven’t touched any books about mental illness for a while because they became a little triggering for me, but hopefully, I’ll be able to start reading them again 🙂

    I’ve read quite a few that are mentioned here but my favourite that hasn’t been mentioned is It’s Kind of a Funny Story. It gives a good perspective into what it’s like to be admitted to a mental health ward in hospital but it’s not too dark or heavy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I loved this entry. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time, and I’m definitely hooked. Looking forward to your future content.
    Stop by my space if you get the chance!
    Mena 🌸✨🌷💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Marie, this is such a cool idea that you’re doing, and what a great reason. ♥ Thank you for devoting your blog for the next couple of weeks to mental health awareness! I can’t wait to see what kind of content comes up over the next two weeks.

    And what a great list, May! There are a few books on this list that had rep that didn’t work for me, but the amazing thing about books with MI rep is that what doesn’t resonate with one own-voice reader is going to be PERFECT for another, so I love the variety offered here. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a lovely post, May 🙂 Loved this post. I have to read so many books from this list. I have read only a couple of these. Turtles All the Way Down is my favourite from the list. John Green has depicted OCD so well in that book. He made we look towards the life of those people from their angle.
    Eliza and Her Monsters is the one I am dying to read. I recently read some amazing reviews about A Quiet Thunder and since then it’s on my TBR 🙂
    Lovely list which definitely exploded by TBR 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’ve read a few of these and LOVED them (Sadie and All the Rage and Saving Francesca), and more of them are on my endless TBR pile. And I hope you don’t mind if I add to everyone else’s 😀 Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman has one of the best portrayals of social anxiety I’ve ever read. For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig is wonderful, and it features a protagonist with bipolar disorder (in a fantasy setting!!). Play On by Michelle Smith, which is a lovely portrait into a caretaker/loved one’s POV and also features a character with depression. I also loved I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (PTSD), When We Collided by Emery Lord (bipolar disorder), Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (depression and anxiety), and Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. These are all such amazing recommendations, May! ❤ I’m adding all of the ones I haven’t read on my TBR, I love the work you did because there are lots of categories and it’s difficult to include all of them in your recommendations, but you did an amazing job. This list is exhaustive and the books on it that I’ve read are brilliant and have amazing reps! ❤
    Amazing post!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Thank you for all the mental illness book recs May! And for Marie for hosting this important event!

    I know this list is made up of YA books, but if anyone is looking for a OCD book rec, I think the middle grade book, The Goldfish Boy, has some great representation there!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thank you so much for your recommendations, May! The only book I’ve read from your list is Fangirl, and I loved it! I related to Cath so much, mostly because I was starting college back when I read it, and it made me feel understood, since I suffer from anxiety too!

    Liked by 3 people

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